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Can I Trade in a Vehicle for an RV?

Did you know you can trade your vehicle in for an RV? Many dealerships are happy to haggle with you.

Buying a motorhome could be a lot easier than you think, especially if you’ve got an auto to leverage. But before shopping for your dream rig, you need to get your ducks in a row.

Between financing, trade-in value, and private sale options, there’s a lot to consider before making this decision. But with a bit of research and preparation, you’ll be ready to make the purchase of your dreams.

Let’s dive in!

A person handing RV keys to another person, possibly after trading in their car
Can you really trade your car for an RV?

Do RV Dealerships Take Cars as Trade-ins?

So you’re in the market for an RV. Now you’re wondering whether your local dealer would accept a trade-in towards the final total.

The answer is that some accept auto trades while others don’t. Some may take other vehicles too. You may find a location that will offer you an exchange on cars, motorcycles, trucks, and even boats. These policies vary from business to business.

But this isn’t the best way to maximize your profits. You’ll probably get more money if you sell it and use the profits towards a cash purchase or down payment for a motorhome. However, working with the dealership could be the easiest route to owning your dream RV.

How Do I Determine the Value of My Vehicle?

Figuring out your vehicle’s value has never been easier. The days of going to a dealership for an appraisal are officially over. Thanks to websites like CarFax, Kelley Blue Book, and Car and Driver, you can get a trade-in quote in minutes.

To determine the worth of your car, you’ll need a few critical pieces of information. Make sure you know the make, model, and manufacturing year. Mileage, engine size, and engine type are also significant. You should even include small details like paint color and unique features.

You’ll probably notice differences between the quotes you get using multiple valuation websites. Make sure to keep the highest number in mind when you get ready to trade your vehicle for an RV.

Can I Trade in My Vehicle if it isn’t Paid Off?

If you’re financing a vehicle, we’ve got good news. You can still trade it in for an RV! You don’t have to own your car outright to put it towards your downpayment.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you suddenly won’t owe money for the financed auto. You may find that your current car is worth enough to cover the amount you owe on your auto loan. But different aspects like age, mileage, and wear and tear may affect its value.

If your vehicle is worth more than you still owe, you can pay off the remaining balance and use what’s left towards your trade-in. However, if your balance exceeds your car’s value, you may need to “rollover” your loan. This means the dealership absorbs the amount left on your loan to facilitate the trade for an RV.

Is it Better to Trade in Your Vehicle or Sell It Yourself?

You probably won’t get as much as you would by selling directly to an individual. But opting for a trade-in saves you a lot of time and headaches.

Trading your vehicle in for an RV is a streamlined process. Just visit a few dealerships, get some offers, and sign the paperwork. It really is that easy. Swapping in your car may also lower the taxable sales price on your auto. However, you may miss out on higher offers from individual buyers.

If you want to maximize your profits, selling the car yourself is the way to go. But it takes a whole lot more time and effort. Prepare to gather all the necessary paperwork, advertise, talk to potential buyers, and facilitate test drives. Once someone buys, there’s even more paperwork.

Before using your vehicle as an RV trade, weigh your options carefully and choose what’s best for you.

3 Tips for Getting the Best Deal on an RV

Deciding whether to trade your existing vehicle is just one piece of the puzzle. You also want to get a reasonable price on your new motorhome.

Here are some of the easiest ways to get your new RV for a steal.

#1 Buy Used

Don’t let the shiny new models fool you when shopping for your new RV. You can find a used one in excellent condition at a really great price.

On average, used rigs retail for anywhere from 30% to 40% less than brand-new models. You may even discover that buying an older model saves you money in different ways. Older campers tend to come with reduced registration fees and insurance costs. Save your leftover cash for potential repairs, or use it to personalize and improve your motorhome. 

#2 Pay Attention to Interest Rates 

It’s tempting just to let the dealership handle the financing on your new RV. But it’s a good idea to do some number-crunching on your own.

If you have a specific price range in mind, visit your bank and get pre-approved for an auto loan. The salesperson probably won’t give you as good a rate as your bank. Plus, once you have outside approval, the dealer will have the incentive to cut you an even better price.

RV interest rates and financing trends are often similar to those for autos. Just watch the market and prepare to strike while the iron’s hot.

#3 Buy at the End of the Season 

The motorhome industry experiences ups and downs according to the time of year. This is excellent news for buyers, who often find incredible steals on their rigs. It’s all about finding the right timing.

Generally speaking, late fall is one of the best times to shop. That’s the time camping season usually winds down. It’s also near the end of the year when many retailers prepare to roll out next year’s models. You could find a heck of a deal if you visit during this season. However, if you’re hoping to trade in a vehicle for your RV, you might not get as good a value later in the year.

Hoping to buy at a different time of year? You can still find great prices on motorhomes by checking in towards the end of each quarter. Lots of dealers and manufacturers work on a quarterly schedule. Shop around at different times of the year and observe the trends before deciding.

Lots of people use RV Trader, but: Is RV Trader a Legit Place to Buy an RV?

Is Trading in Your Vehicle for an RV Worth It?

A vehicle-for-RV trade is a convenient way to kick off your life on the road. Negotiating with the dealer saves you the headache of a person-to-person auto sale. And as long as you do some homework, you can leverage your old car into a great bargain on your motorhome.

As with any big purchase, weighing the pros and cons is essential. Think through your options before deciding what to do. Before you know it, you’ll be on the road knowing you got your new rig for a great price.

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